Here's a truly horrifying story: a California teacher has been arrested for blindfolding a second-grader and forcing her to perform oral sex on him, calling it "the lollipop game."
According to the Fresno Bee, Neng Yang had been a teacher at Freedom Elementary in Clovis, CA since 2007. But earlier this month, a mom noticed that her daughter wasn't on the playground having PE with the other kids. When she asked about it, her daughter said she'd been playing "the lollipop game" alone in the classroom with her teacher, in which he blindfolded her and let her taste different lollipops. Based on her description, authorities were worried abuse was involved, so they searched Yang's classroom — and found cell phone photos and video of the girl performing oral sex on Yang on several occasions dating back to Jan. 3. Yang's now in jail awaiting a hearing — he could be charged with child molestation, sexual abuse of a child, and possession of child porn, and get up to 30 years in prison.
As often (and disturbingly) happens, Yang was a trusted teacher before the arrest. And the abuse has shaken his community for reasons beyond the obvious: says one parent, "I'm Hmong, he's a Hmong teacher. It's a setback for us." A Facebook commenter also called Yang a "disgrace to the Hmong community." Nearby Fresno, CA has one of the biggest Hmong populations in the country, but Clovis is overwhelmingly white — and for a relatively small minority, a sexual abuse case centering on one of their own is doubly upsetting. Ultimately, though, everyone's trust has been shaken. Says mom Natalie Torres: "I couldn't believe they said that 'everyone on staff can be trusted' after this. That trust issue will be in the back of my mind, no matter what school my son goes to." Which is a reminder that child abuse harms not just the victims themselves, but everyone around them, who will now have to worry about teachers playing the "lollipop game" — or something similarly awful — with their kids.